Sunday, April 21, 2024

Nikki Haley Becomes the De Facto Front Person for the Republican Establishment

Nikki Haley’s inevitable cross over to the dying Never Trumper wing of the Republican party was completed last week when the former governor said that she no longer feels bound to an earlier RNC pledge to support the party’s eventual nominee, which is going to be Donald Trump, officially.

Haley weaseled out of her commitment with this weak argument. “I mean, at the time of the debate, we had to take it to where, ‘Would you support the nominee,’ and in order to get on that debate stage, you said, ‘Yes’. The RNC is not the same RNC. Now it’s Trump’s RNC.”

The Different Stages of a Never Trumper

When Donald Trump made the announcement he was running for president after riding down the elevator at Trump Tower, both leftists and the Republican establishment scoffed dismissively. In fact, Ann Coulter was mocked and laughed at by Bill Maher and his audience when she predicted Trump would win in 2016.

While the left’s reaction to Trump’s victory was predictable (riots, a silent coup, impeachment and lawfare), the Republican establishment was more subdued and covert in its actions and strategies to undermine him. In hindsight, it is incomprehensible that the leaders of the party were so out of touch with their constituency they were completely caught off guard by the emergence of the MAGA movement. Unlike the left, RINOs had to tread carefully around Trump. They wanted to lose him like a bad habit, but they understood the consequences of pissing off his base.

So, the Never Trump movement evolved in stages.

Stage One: Initially, Republicans like Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, John McCain and others tried to play nice. They offered their support for the new president, figuring they would collectively pull him into the black sludge that is Washington D.C., until he found himself so overwhelmed with flattery and A-list events that he would see it their way and abandon the principles that got him elected. You know, just like they did.

It’s hard to believe, but Trump actually interviewed Mitt Romney for Secretary of State. As the former Republican nominee for president, Romney was humiliated when he didn’t get the job and never forgave Trump for the slight.

Reflecting on Trump’s presidency, RINO poster child Paul Ryan said this:

“I told myself, I got to have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right. Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government. So I thought, I can’t be his scold, like I was. … I wanted to scold him all the time. What I learned as I went on, to scratch that itch, I had to do it in private. So, I did it in private—all the time. And he actually ended up kind of appreciating it. We had more arguments with each other than pleasant conversations, over the last two years. And it never leaked.”

Stage Two: When stage one didn’t work, the establishment started to flex its muscles. A-list Republicans still hid their disdain for Trump in public, but sometime during the 2018 midterm elections, they began sending out surrogates  to criticize Trump in the media. This included Republican B-listers like Mona Cagren, David French and David Frum.

Stage Three: After Trump lost (allegedly) the 2020 election, the knives were out, and the A-list establishment Republicans were out to kill off any chances of a Trump revival.

Mitt Romney: Donald Trump represents a failure of character, which is changing…in many respects, the psyche of our nation and the heart of our nation. And that’s something which takes a long time if ever, to repair.

Mitch McConnell: There’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day (January 6th). No question about it. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. The leader of the free world cannot spend weeks thundering that shadowy forces are stealing our country and then feign surprise when people believe him and do reckless things.

Paul Ryan (after Trump left office): “Trump’s not a conservative. He’s a populist, authoritarian narcissist. So, historically speaking, all of his tendencies are basically where narcissism takes him, which is whatever makes him popular, make him feel good at any given moment.”

I could go on and add Bill Barr, John Bolton Jeb Bush and other notorious RINO, neocon, amnesty, forever war Republicans to the list, but suffice to say that 2024 was the establishment’s last stand, and they coalesced around the ultimate changeling sell out, Nikki Haley, in a last-ditch attempt to reclaim the party they felt belonged to them, even as they knew it was slipping away.

Stage Four: Acceptance

The grand scheme emerged from the back room of Republican Deep State headquarters immediately after Haley placed third in the Iowa caucuses. Under ordinary circumstances, the struggling candidate would probably have withdrawn after such a dismal showing, but instead, she raised $9.8 million in January, surpassing Trump’s haul by $1 million. This was despite the former president winning in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

The donor-class strategy revolved around the hope that one of two scenarios would play out: Best case, Haley would flip enough Trump voters on Super Tuesday to gain traction and continue her campaign with momentum. The more realistic possibility left Haley as the last woman standing if leftist Democrats succeeded in using lawfare to convict Trump in one of their kangaroo court trials.

Unfortunately for the establishment, neither scheme worked out, and so Haley suspended her campaign after a humiliating beat down on Super Tuesday. However, notably, she made it a point to not endorse Donald Trump.

“On this question, as she did on so many others, Margaret Thatcher provided some good advice when she said ‘never just follow the crowd, always make up your own mind.’ It is now up to Trump to earn the votes of those in the Republican party and beyond it who did not support him,” said Haley in her Super Tuesday concession speech.

For Haley and the RINO stiffs who supported her, one can only hope they finally realize the jig is up. The Republican party now belongs to the American working class, and there is no going back. Bill Kristol, Charles Koch and the rest of their entitled, manipulative, selfish ilk may not like it, but they will never have the chance to bait and switch their way to the presidency again.

Sure, it’s possible Trump loses in another rigged election, which may open the door a crack for candidates like Haley in 2028, but if that happens, MAGA will stay home, and Republicans will never win again until they collectively embrace the tidal wave of change.

As the de facto leader of the Never Trump movement, I imagine Haley’s allegiance is now open to the highest bidder.